Voters decide local races
Just under 16 percent of Lincoln County voters turned out at the polls Tuesday, with 3,554 ballots cast.
Contested races were decided for City of Merrill, Lincoln County Board and Merrill Area Public Schools Board of Education offices. The following results are not official until the Board of Canvas meets.
City of Merrill
For Merrill Mayor, incumbent Bill Bialecki was re-elected over write-in challenger John Kaufman. Bialecki received 889 votes and write-ins received 316. A breakdown of write-in votes was not immediately available.
For city clerk, incumbent Bill Heideman was re-elected over challenger Stephanie Schwartzman, 1,013 votes to 368.
Peter Lokemoen was elected to succeed Incumbent District 2 Alderman Steve Hass, who did not seek re-election. Lokemoen defeated fellow challenger Michael Caylor Jr., 122-70.
In District 8, incumbent Anne Caylor was the only name on the ballot. However, she has announced she is no longer seeking re-election due to a job-related move to Appleton. Tim Meehean ran as a write-in candidate for the District 8 seat. Results show that Caylor received 48 votes and write-ins received 46. A breakdown of write-in votes was not immediately available.
In District 3, incumbent Ryan Schwartzman had initially not intended to run, but did enter the race later as a write-in candidate. There were 32 write-in votes in District 3.
All other incumbent alderpersons were unopposed for re-election, including Chris Malm in District 1, Kandy Peterson in District 4, John Burgener in District 5, David Sukow in District 6 and Rob Norton in District 7. Street Commissioner Dick Lupton was also re-elected without opposition.
Joint Municipal Judge
Retired Merrill Police Chief Ned Seubert was elected to the newly-created position of Joint Municipal Court Judge, who will preside over municipal cases for the cities of Merrill and Tomahawk. Seubert defeated Merrill Municipal Judge Merle (Jim) Sheridan by a 978-727 vote margin.
Lincoln County Board
District 3 incumbent Ray Bloomer did not seek re-election. There were no names on the ballot for District 3, but write-ins received 27 votes. Ryan Schwartzman had announced he would seek the county supervisor seat as a write-in candidate.
In District 4, appointed incumbent Jeff Hetfeld was elected over challenger Corey Nowak, 123-71. In District 5, incumbent Frank Saal, Jr. was unseated by challenger Garth Swanson, 99-89. District 7 incumbent Greta Rusch held off a challenge from Rob Norton, 115-101. Challenger Julie Allen unseated incumbent David Fox in District 19, 155-82. District 22 incumbent Graham Rankin was re-elected over challenger Jolene Callahan, 119-117. Also, District 10 incumbent Bruce Giese did not seek re-election. Elected to replace Giese is Loretta Baughan.
All other incumbent supervisors were unopposed for re-election, including: Dan Caylor, District 1; Robert Weaver, District 2; Patricia Woller, District 6; R. Wayne Plant, District 8; William Zietz, District 9; Hans Breitenmoser, Jr., District 11; Paul Gilk, District 12; James Alber, District 13; Robert Lussow, District 14; Robert Lee, District 15; Michael Loka, District 16; Donald Nelson, District 17; John Bailey, District 18; Carl Vander Sanden, District 20; and Courtney Pike, District 21.
Merrill Area Public Schools Board of Education
Challengers took all three full terms up for election on the MAPS Board of Education. Kevin Blake (1,821 votes), Jeff Hetfeld (1,622) and Eric Geiss (1,371) were elected to three-year terms on the board. Appointed incumbent Linda Yingling came in fourth with 1,231 votes, earning her the right to serve out the remaining two years of the vacated seat she is already occupying. With 1,141 votes, incumbent Loretta Baughan was unsuccessful in her bid for re-election. Jeremy Ratliff was also unsuccessful in his school board bid, finishing with 1,073 votes. Bill Fehrmann, who had dropped out of the race, received 646 votes.
Incumbents Brad Geiss and Eugene Bondiolo did not seek re-election.